Bernie Ecclestone has dismissed Honda's departure as "no great loss" to his formula one empire.

Bernie Ecclestone has dismissed Honda's departure as "no great loss" to his formula one empire.

The Japanese marque was involved with the sport initially in the 60s, with huge success as an engine supplier in the 80s and early 90s, and most recently with its Brackley based works team.

But although his grid could be reduced to just 18 cars for the forthcoming 2009 season, F1 chief executive Ecclestone played down Honda's departure.

"Honda will be no great loss," he said at the London boutique Moussaieff, where his daughter Tamara was unveiled as the new 'face' of the jeweller.

Ecclestone, 78, added: "Just look at where they finished in the championship -- ninth. They wasted millions and were a bad example to other teams.

"In formula one, teams come and go. It's not the end of the world. Only Ferrari has been there since the start.

"Now they've gone, we've got a chance to bring in some sense to the teams about how much they should spend."

The Daily Telegraph newspaper said Ecclestone believes a new buyer of the Brackley team will be announced next week.

He said: "I'm keen for the team to be kept in place. We have whittled it down to three serious potential buyers."

Meanwhile, former triple world champion Sir Jackie Stewart believes the global slump in car sales is not the only reason for Honda's decision to part.

"I don't think Honda would have closed down their operations if they had finished third or fourth rather than ninth in the constructors' championship," the Scot told The Herald.

 

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